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What they made first answered – the mega forklift brands revealed

Thursday, 24 September 2020 ( #993 )
What do mega American forklift manufacturers Hyster, Clark and Yale have in common? You guessed it - none of them started off making forklifts. As is often the case for long established brands, the companies have seen a number of evolutions throughout their history. One of our dear readers suggested this theme of 'what they made first' for a forklift quiz, we hope you've all had fun playing along. So here they are, the answers revealed:
For quiz 1, this mechanism here was invented by Linus Yale Jr in 1844. It's a pin-tumbler cylinder lock, one of eight lock mechanisms patented by Linus between 1843 and 1857. Linus and a bloke called Henry R. Towne formed a lock manufacturing company called the Yale & Towne Company in 1868 but in 1875 the company branched out into materials handling. By 1920 they launched a battery powered low-lift platform truck, and then quickly followed this with a high-lift platform truck, tow tractors and one of the first lifting trucks that had tilting forks. Yale & Towne would eventually become Yale Materials Handling Corporation, the name given to the company in 1985 when it was acquired by North American Coal Corporation, which became NACCO Industries Inc.
In quiz 2: the picture of this little invention, was taken from the operator's manual of a 1929 product called the 'Hyster', said to handle 'any lift or pull'. The Hyster was a winch that could be attached to tractors. It was developed by Willamette Ersted Company, a logging equipment manufacturer. The company was renamed Willamette-Hyster Company in 1934, after the name 'Hyster' caught on, and then Hyster Company in 1944. The full cover image was provided by Tim (our Hyster forklift guru, who helped us out with the 'whose forklift ad is this' challenge). Tim actually owns the original manual! It reportedly contains eight pages that include: how to attach to the tractor, operating instruction, how to repair and lubricate and an illustrated parts list.
And on to quiz 3: who made drill bits, axles, wheels and steel casings before they made forklifts? Why it was the CLARK Equipment Company. The company was formed in 1917 after the merger of Celfor Tool Company and the Buchanan Electric Steel Company. Incidentally, Clark's famous 'Tructractor', the world's first internal combustion-powered industrial truck, was created by CLARK employees to haul materials between their various axle, drill and wheel departments. The CLARK Tructractor Company was formed in 1919, and is the origin company of CLARK Material Handling Company today. By 1922 they introduced the Truclift, an internal combustion-powered platform lift truck and by 1938 the first modern short-coupled internal combustion forklift the 'Carloader' was born. Thanks so much for all of you who played along we had a great response and thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone's guesses. Many of you guessed at least a couple of answers correctly but only one got all 3 correct. Congratulations to Kevin Salov from TVH Parts Americas, we are so impressed by your forklift knowledge that we will send you (by email) our converted Forkliftaction Forklift Honours certificate to certify that you are indeed a 'forklift guru'. Got an idea for a quiz topic or challenge - let us know! Send us an email.
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